Free-to-use mobile app Agora challenged international photographers to participate in the #Animals2020 photo contest with their best shots of living creatures around the planet. As a result, 13,888 photos of all kinds of animals were submitted to the contest, showing the wide and precious variety of animal life surrounding us. Congratulations to Indonesian photographer @jjnmatt whose photo ‘Iguana’ gathered the most votes on the Agora app, making him the #Animals2020 Hero and granting him the top prize of $1,000.
Photography is a powerful medium to generate empathy and a deeper understanding of the world surrounding us. Only one species living on Earth can choose what the future will look like, and that species is us!
Octavi Royo, Agora's CEO and Co-Founder
Winner: 'Iguana' by @jjnmatt (Indonesia)
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
The iguana conveys the beauty and uniqueness of nature.
Discover the Top 5 finalists:
'Family' by @mannylibrodo (Philippines)
Location: Surin, Thailand
The province of Surin is well-known for its elephants. Traveling to this province would be incomplete without a visit to the Ban Ta Klang Elephant village. I wanted to show how the elephants have become symbols of beauty, grace and elegance despite their gigantic size.
'Honor fight' by @jordisark (Spain)
'Reach the winter' by @dangthao (Japan)
It was the end of the autumn season, you can tell how pleased the reindeer was with the snow falling again.
'Misty heather field in full bloom' by @glennanthonie (Netherlands)
Location: Laren, Netherlands
Every year brings the heather blooming season. This year was even more special as the fields were covered with a thick layer of fog and a highland cattle strolled through.
Discover the Top 45:
'Baby monkey' by @prabuds (Indonesia)
Location: Kedoya Utara, Indonesia
'Madoda King' by @frenchcliche (South Africa)
Location: Gondwana Game Reserve, South Africa
Lions can be perfect models too!
@frenchcliche (South Africa)
'Devotion' by @saiful0007 (Bangladesh)
Location: Armenian Church, Old Dhaka, Bangladesh
My friend and I were chatting on the forecourt of the church. I noticed this dog lying on his master's grave. Immediately I went home to look for my camera and, with the permission of the church officials, took the picture.
'Fierce' by @pitokung (Indonesia)
Location: Jakarta, Indonesia
Here's a majestic Sumatran Tiger wandering in the morning sunlight. Sometimes, you just need to be patient and wait for the right moment.
'Chimp' by @mohamedtazi (Morroco)
Location: Sevilla zoo, Spain
This chimp was enjoying breakfast when suddenly, he stopped eating and looked at me like a model who was posing for a shooting session.
'Mother Bekantan' by @irawansubingar (Indonesia)
Location: Cisarua, Indonesia
'The barn owl has landed' by @philrobson (UK)
Location: Northumberland, UK
A shoot to capture flying barn owls, to convey the beauty and grace of flight.
'Encounter at our campsite' by @hi.jewi (Germany)
Location: Kamchatka, Russia
We spent a few days visiting the volcano Tolbachik during our expedition in Kamchatka. After dinner, suddenly this fox appeared at our camp. It was so curious, so peaceful and friendly. It showed up, watched us, and went away to play in the ashes. It was such a surprising, unexpected and exciting moment that really hit my heart. I want to show the beauty of Mother Nature with these amazing patterns and show this peaceful wild fox and the heartwarming feeling I had at this moment.
'Anemone fish' by @alexdemartin (Spain)
Location: Sipadan Island, Malaysia
Sipadan Island is a natural marine park where life thrives. When I was looking at an anemone, this family of clownfish seemed to pose for the camera.
'Into the darkness' by @alan_gallo (Italy)
Location: Dobbiaco Lake, Italy
The swan is the light breaking through the darkness.
'Motherlove' by @olmospatricia (Spain)
'A Tower of Giraffe' by @_kennyc_ (UK)
Location: Imire Rhino & Wildlife Conservation, Zimbabwe
Shooting wildlife can be challenging. The unpredictability of animals makes it both incredibly frustrating, and hugely rewarding. Often you’ll witness something spectacular, and by the time you’ve brought your camera to your eye, it’s over. Having said that, I’m grateful these giraffes were kind enough to stand still long enough for me to capture this picture-perfect moment, lining up perfectly with the tree in the background, adding to the overall composition.
'Freshwater' by @cymot (Indonesia)
Location: Kebun binatang Taman Satwa Jurug, Indonesia
Jurug Zoo is a popular destination for our local community and is often used for educational purposes for students to introduce animals and the environment.
'Close encounter' by @onkwelphoto (France)
Location: Chamonix, France
I was so happy to spot my first ibex. After hiking for an hour and a half, I began to doubt I would see any. Literally one minute later, at the bend of a large rock, he was there, grazing his grass quietly right next to me!
'Orangutan' by @adingkuswara (Indonesia)
Location: Tanjung, Indonesia
'Arctic fox' by @photoepb (Spain)
I went looking for this little one for days, when suddenly through the glass of the car and I saw it perched on a slope. I ran and lay a meter from it while I was eating, that's how I managed to catch this magnificent moment.
'Focused' by @leo.wies (Germany)
I often go to the local wild park to practice wildlife photography. It is impossible to discover a lynx in the wild in my region. Therefore, I was very happy to have the opportunity to see this majestic and beautiful animal in the mentioned park. I was impressed by the sharp eyes of the lynx. On this day there was snow and it was very cold, the park was almost empty. Although the lynx's enclosure is limited, they are very mysterious creatures and do not show themselves every day. I found a place to sit down in the empty park and waited with my thick down jacket on sitting and lying on the ground. It took me almost 2 hours to spark the lynx attention and he slowly came towards my direction. The moment I took the photo I had the feeling of having direct eye contact with the lynx. That feeling really sent shivers down my spine. With this photo, I wanted to evoke the same feeling and emotion I had. The viewer should have the impression of making direct eye contact with this beautiful creature. At this point in my story, I want to give credit to all the real wildlife photographers out there. I have huge respect for the time and knowledge they invest into their work and passion. I think these parks are a good opportunity to practice shooting but you should always mention that the photos were taken in a park and not out in the wild. Otherwise, it delivers a wrong perception of the work, dedication, time, and passion that goes into photographing wild animals in their wild habitat.
'Shadow game' by @borsch (Russia)
There were several deers walking on the road. They ignored dozens of cars passing by.
'Newborn labradoodle puppy' by @Silvija_Collins (Ireland)
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Our family dog (Australian Labradoodle) had a litter of puppies 2 days prior to the photo being taken. We have 2 small children (2 and 4 at the time) who were so excited and eagerly waited for the whelping to take place. They looked after her throughout her pregnancy, sang her songs, and were reassuring the dog everything will be ok. When the puppies came the excitement was amazing to witness but the puppies were too small for them to touch. So my husband placed one sleeping puppy in his palms and brought it closer for the girls the see. They sang lullabies and he just held the puppy for them. It looked so peaceful and content. These puppies grew up in our kitchen with the constant care and attention of our children and ourselves before they went to loving homes. A lot of my photos focus on the bond between small children and their pets, the love, care, and affection that goes both ways.
'Wolves' by @spanikar (Canada)
Location: Montreal, Canada
'Puffin Close Up' by @hb_photography (UK)
Location: Smoker Island, Wales, UK
I love wildlife and wildlife photography with a passion I wanted to capture unique, powerful portrait of a puffin this was caught my eye and stood tall for perfect puffin portrait.
'Icelandic' by @samuelemiccoli (Italy)
Location: Kirkjufell, Iceland
We were walking in circles close to the famous mountains when a group of Icelandic started running in our direction. As soon as they came closer, they stopped to let us take a shot and then disappeared. The beauty of the country is not only fire and ice but also the animals who live there.
'Give it to me' by @beyond_imagina (India)
Location: Jaipur, India
The rhesus macaque's typical diet consists of roots, fruits, seeds, and bark, but also insects and small animals.
'Farmers' by @jorgebacelar (Portugal)
Location: Murtosa, Portugal
Here is farmer Silvina with her Black turkey, which was brought to Portugal about 500 years ago when Spanish discoverers returned from their first forays into Central America. During their discoveries, they found that the Aztecs had 2 kinds of pets: the black turkey, and the dog. The Spaniards were amazed by this giant bird. In Europe, 500 years ago, you couldn't find a bird that size. Even before bringing back the gold, they brought the birds back home in the boats; it turned out that the dominant montane agro-ecosystem in the Iberian peninsula provided exactly what turkeys needed. From Spain, they passed very easily and quickly to Portugal where the tradition was kept alive until today, more than 500 years later.
'Mosca descansando en un cactus' by @lafotodeeva (Spain)
Location: Parque de La Paloma, Benalmádena, Malaga, Andalucía, España
I went out with my two-and-a-half-year-old son to escape this whole pandemic situation for a brief moment. As always, with my camera in hand. Suddenly, I saw that my son was looking at something with insistence. He likes insects a lot, so I got closer and saw this blowfly resting on a small cactus flower. I was carried away by the emotion of my son. In this photo, I realized that the small details are what really matter.
'With mom' by @sofyanefendi (Indonesia)
Location: Waykambas National Park, Indonesia
I took this photo in the morning, when dozens of elephants were being fed by the nursing staff in the national park.
'Little Tiger' by @johnnydee (China)
Location: Chongqing, China
He just looked like a little tiger, so majestic!
'Bear crossing' by @blakehobson (Canada)
Location: Division No. 15, Canada
Doesn’t get much more Canadian than this!
'What are you looking at?' by @kyunghwalee (South Korea)
Location: South Korea
I was very happy that this plant finally bloomed to tell if it was a poisonous plant or not, and seeing bees coming and going, I knew it was a flower with a lot of pollen. The Fischers Ragwort is a popular delicacy herb that Koreans like to eat during springtime. It is almost the same as a Marsh Marigold, which is a poisonous plant, causing deaths every year.
@kyunghwalee (South Korea)
'Caballos' by @mariafcabaleiro (Spain)
Location: Asturias, Spain
We found these horses during a family roadtrip with my family along the Asturian coast. With my photo, I wanted to transmit the feeling of protection and love.
'Lioness Pride' by @freeilli (Italy)
Location: Etosha, Namibia
The subject of this series of pictures is the biggest lion pride I have seen during my African trips, probably 30 members between cubs, lionesses, and 2 males. Doing a safari requires a lot of patience and also some luck. You might think it’s really easy to spot animals, but it’s not. It was truly a movie scene and especially my heart melted when I saw the lionesses walking towards us, aligning in the perfect composition. Lionesses are the core of the pride since they are responsible for hunting and raising the cubs. Like more than 5.000 other mammal-species, lions prides are founded as a matriarchal society. If you are on a safari, try to spot the lionesses first as the most exciting actions tend to happen around them.
'Humpback whale breaching' by @reneliniger (Australia)
Location: Mooloolaba, Australia
I go whale watching at least once every year. The whale migration season here lasts normally from June to October, during which time you can watch whales from the shores or out in the ocean from boats. It’s amazing watching these gentle giants going about their own business. And quite often they will also take a keen interest in finding out more about us when they come really close up to check us out. Never fails to amaze me!
'All the shades of blue' by @makyandmatt (Czech Republic)
Location: Gili Meno, Indonesia
I wanted to capture my appreciation and love for the ocean, the beauty of the underwater world and the importance of protecting our oceans. We went to Gili Meno just with our camera gear so we had to rent the snorkeling gear. Our feet were full of blisters and bleeding, we were fighting a strong current but we just couldn't resist the beauty of the ocean. The water was so clear, there were so many turtles, the lighting was perfect, and no one around. Definitely, a dive to remember!
@makyandmatt (Czech Republic)
'An eagle hunting' by @joeshellyy (UK)
Location: Kruger National Park, South Africa
'Friends' by @superiaia (Italy)
Location: Moremi Game Reserve, Botswana.
Sometimes we are so focused on seeking the beauty of big things that we lose sight of the wonder that hides in small things. We spent several hours waiting for the lions, in the Reserve, next to the pan: the sun was almost setting and we just wanted to take some pictures of the king, before it was too dark. There were zebras and gazelles near the pan, but no trace of lions. At a certain time a small bird caught my attention: it was on the back of the zebra, and he was chirping loudly. At a certain time a small bird caught my attention: it was on the back of the zebra, and he was chirping loudly. I took that picture. Lions never came. Sometimes we are so focused on seeking the beauty of big things that we lose sight of the wonder that hides in small things.
'Horses' by @bahrambayat (Iran)
'Privilege witness' by @josuozkaritz (Spain)
Location: Machu Picchu, Peru
Walking all over this unique landmark I came up with this llama resting peacefully on the grass. In such a crowded tourist destination, I was lucky to find this cute animal on a quiet, empty spot with no one interrupting this powerful moment connecting with nature. Sometimes llamas tend to have aggressive behavior when bothered. However, this friend seemed to be waiting for me to immortalize this moment. She posed like a pro model, with no complaints whatsoever before, during or after the shooting. I stood by for a while afterwards, simply contemplating this gift from nature. Just a llama and me in Machu Picchu.
'Mother and her young' by @danrose (UK)
Location: Berkeley Deer Park, Berkeley, Gloucestershire, UK
I wanted to capture the bond and close connection a fawn has with its mother.
'Calf and mother' by @nateqpham (Vietnam)
Location: Quang Binh, Vietnam
I got to the beach about half an hour before sunset and spotted a herd of cows wandering around the beach. I got chased while trying to take my shot!
'Curious seal' by @adventureahead (USA)
Location: Vancouver, Canada
The seal was laying on a rock, enjoying the afternoon sunshine. There was a trail going down from the cliff to the beach, and whenever there were people around, the seal often just check them out.
'Moment' by @alexcao (Vietnam)
Location: Quang Ngai, VietNam
I have 2 wishes that I've always aimed for: one is to gather all beautiful images of my province, Quang Ngai, and share them with the world. I want to protect and preserve not only the beautiful scenes in my homeland but also the wildlife that is being hunted and consumed terribly.
'Winter swim' by @joncleave (UK)
I spotted this majestic humpback whale breaching in a northern fjord, Iceland in the depths of winter.
'Highland cow' by @above_and_beyond_visuals (UK)
Have you ever seen a white highland cow before? It’s not very often you get to witness an unusual coloured animal, especially when the breed of a highland cow is generally a dark ginger/ dark colour. It was amazing to witness the cow placed in the center, looking so obedient and stern with the others behind. I think the moral of this shot is no matter how unusual you or something may look, you are bound to stand out from the rest of the crowd... (This is never a bad thing) embrace that and don’t let anybody tell you any different.
'Swimming' by @nikopictures (France)
Location: Santa Cruz, California, USA
I was walking on a bridge when I spotted this group of seals.
'Young panda' by @polatina (Poland)
Location: Breeding Panda Center, Chengdu, China
It was a rainy day without many pandas walking around. What could I do, impossible to force a wild animal to show up or to pose! I was already grateful to visit this place and support those wonderful animals. Suddenly, the young panda went out from the forest. This was the best moment I remember and I was glad I could have captured it in my camera.
PR & Content Manager at Agora